Epiom SAS and another company v Ministre des Finances et des Comptes publics

European Union – Freedom of establishment. Article 1(2) of Council Directive (EEC) 90/435, as amended, should be interpreted as precluding national tax legislation, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which subjected the grant of the tax advantage provided for by art 5(1) of that directive — namely, the exemption from withholding tax of profits distributed by a resident subsidiary to a non-resident parent company, where that parent company was directly or indirectly controlled by one or more residents of third states — to the condition that that parent company establish that the principal purpose or one of the principal purposes of the chain of interests was not to take advantage of that exemption. The Court of Justice of the European Uniion so held in a preliminary ruling in proceedings between the first and second applicant companies and the French tax authorities concerning the refusal to exempt from withholding tax dividends distributed by the first applicant's predecessor to the second applicant, its parent company.

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